Penalty to Johnny Sauter Makes a Talladega Winner of Spencer Boyd

TALLADEGA, ALABAMA – OCTOBER 12: Spencer Boyd, driver of the #20 Alabama Roofing Professionals Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Sugarland Shine 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 12, 2019, in Talladega, Alabama.
Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

TALLADEGA, Ala. – Johnny Sauter did a celebratory burnout. He collected the checkered flag from the flag stand at Talladega Superspeedway.

But Sauter didn’t win Saturday’s Sugarland Shine 250 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoff race at the 2.66-mile track. A penalty for blocking Riley Herbst below the yellow line in the final 200 yards of the event cost Sauter the victory and made an unlikely winner of Spencer Boyd.

“It’s Talladega,” the driver of the No. 20 Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet exulted in Victory Lane. “Man, I don’t drink beer, but it may happen tonight.”

Boyd, whose previous best finish in the series was a fourth in the 2019 season opener at Daytona, crossed the finish line 0.132 seconds behind Sauter, who started his celebration. But NASCAR informed the teams that the finish was under review and subsequently awarded the victory to Boyd.

“I was sitting there, and I’m like, man, second is amazing for us,” Boyd said. “We’re happy. We finished fourth at Daytona in this truck, and then one of my crew guys was like, ‘You just won!’ I can’t believe this. Two weeks ago I wasn’t running this race.

“We put this together late with Alabama Roofing Professionals… You dream of winning a NASCAR race. Four years ago, I was selling cars with my dad at Hendrick Automotive Group. A lot of people believed in me to get me to this point.”

Gus Dean’s hard crash into the inside wall off turn two sent the race to overtime, and Sauter led the field to green on lap 97. Sauter lost and regained the top spot in traffic and moved below the yellow line approaching the checkered flag as Herbst made a move to the inside.

After the review, NASCAR placed Sauter 14th at the finish as the last driver on the lead lap.

“I went down to put a little block on him,” Sauter said, “but then when I did, I got hooked sideways, but that’s just plate racing. You know, I didn’t block his advance or anything like that… I just hate it for my guys. They deserve better than that.”

Todd Gilliland finished second, with Herbst coming home third. Brett Moffitt in fourth and Stewart Friesen in fifth were the highest finishing Playoff drivers in the first race of the Round of 6. Fellow Playoff drivers Austin Hill, Tyler Ankrum and Matt Crafton (the pole winner) followed in sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively.

Playoff driver Ross Chastain was leading with six laps left, but a late attempt to block Sheldon Creed ignited a ten-car crash that ended with Chastain out of the race and in the infield care center. Chastain dropped to sixth in the Playoff standings, 46 points behind Moffitt, the series leader, but only two behind Crafton in fourth place.

The Playoff field will be cut from six drivers to four after the Nov. 8 event at ISM Raceway at Phoenix.

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Race – 14th Annual Sugarlands Shine 250

Talladega Superspeedway

Talladega, Alabama

Saturday, October 12, 2019

                   1. (25)  Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, 98.

                   2. (6)  Todd Gilliland, Toyota, 98.

                   3. (7)  Riley Herbst, Toyota, 98.

                   4. (8)  Brett Moffitt (P), Chevrolet, 98.

                   5. (10)  Stewart Friesen (P), Chevrolet, 98.

                   6. (13)  Austin Hill (P), Toyota, 98.

                   7. (2)  Tyler Ankrum # (P), Toyota, 98.

                   8. (1)  Matt Crafton (P), Ford, 98.

                   9. (5)  Sheldon Creed #, Chevrolet, 98.

                   10. (14)  Grant Enfinger, Ford, 98.

                   11. (3)  Harrison Burton #, Toyota, 98.

                   12. (15)  Ben Rhodes, Ford, 98.

                   13. (9)  Korbin Forrister, Toyota, 98.

                   14. (4)  Johnny Sauter, Ford, 98.

                   15. (16)  Anthony Alfredo #, Toyota, 97.

                   16. (19)  Natalie Decker, Toyota, 97.

                   17. (23)  Bryan Dauzat, Chevrolet, 97.

                   18. (31)  Norm Benning, Chevrolet, 96.

                   19. (32)  Jesse Iwuji, Toyota, 96.

                   20. (20)  Gus Dean #, Chevrolet, Accident, 92.

                   21. (30)  Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, 90.

                   22. (17)  Ross Chastain (P), Chevrolet, Accident, 87.

                   23. (22)  Timothy Peters, Chevrolet, Accident, 87.

                   24. (11)  Codie Rohrbaugh, Chevrolet, Accident, 87.

                   25. (24)  Clay Greenfield, Toyota, Accident, 87.

                   26. (18)  Brennan Poole, Toyota, Rear End, 81.

                   27. (28)  Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, 79.

                   28. (26)  Angela Ruch, Chevrolet, Engine, 72.

                   29. (12)  Austin Wayne Self, Chevrolet, Overheating, 69.

                   30. (27)  John Hunter Nemechek(i), Chevrolet, Radiator, 30.

                   31. (21)  Tyler Dippel #, Chevrolet, Accident, 29.

                   32. (29)  Mason Massey IV, Chevrolet, Engine, 8.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  122.817 mph.

Time of Race:  Two Hrs, Seven Mins, 21 Secs. The Margin of Victory:  0.027 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  Seven for 29 laps.

Lead Changes:  24 among 15 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   M. Crafton (P) 1;T. Gilliland 2;J. Sauter 3-7;S. Creed # 8-22;R. Chastain (P) 23-28;B. Moffitt (P) 29-35;A. Hill (P) 36-37;S. Friesen (P) 38-42;A. Ruch 43;G. Enfinger 44-46;S. Friesen (P) 47;T. Ankrum # (P) 48-49;S. Friesen (P) 50-51;T. Gilliland 52-57;T. Ankrum # (P) 58-60;J. Sauter 61-64;T. Ankrum # (P) 65;G. Dean # 66-70;C. Rohrbaugh 71;B. Dauzat 72;J. Sauter 73-86;R. Chastain (P) 87;S. Creed # 88-92;J. Sauter 93-97;S. Boyd 98.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Johnny Sauter four times for 28 laps; Sheldon Creed # two times for 20 laps; Stewart Friesen (P) three times for eight laps; Todd Gilliland two times for seven laps; Ross Chastain (P) two times for seven laps; Brett Moffitt (P) one time for seven laps; Tyler Ankrum # (P) three times for six laps; Gus Dean # one time for five laps; Grant Enfinger one time for three laps; Austin Hill (P) one time for two laps; Bryan Dauzat one time for one lap; Spencer Boyd one time for one lap; Angela Ruch one time for one lap; Matt Crafton (P) one time for one lap; Codie Rohrbaugh one time for one lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 2,24,45,8,52,51,16,99,4,22

Stage #2 Top-Ten: 52,24,22,2,13,17,12,15,4,88